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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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Hedda Morrison

1941 (printed 2004)
Alastair Morrison

type C photograph from an original negative on paper (sheet: 50.8 cm x 40.5 cm, image: 40.5 cm x 31.1 cm)

Hedda Morrison, née Hammer (1908-1991), photographer, was born in Stuttgart and studied at the Bavarian State Institute for Photography in Munich before securing a job as manager of a German-owned commercial photography studio in Peking. Having worked there between 1933 and 1938, she remained in China as a freelance photographer, taking thousands of shots that now afford a fascinating record of pre-revolutionary architecture and streetscapes, craftspeople at work, street vendors, costumes and religious and folk customs. In 1946, as political tensions escalated, Hedda married intelligence analyst Alastair Morrison, son of the famous George Ernest Morrison, Peking correspondent for the Times of London. The couple left China for Hong Kong later that year. For twenty years they lived in Sarawak, before moving to Australia in 1967 and settling in Canberra. Morrison's views of Peking were shown at the new Menzies Library of the Australian National University in the winter of 1967. Alasdair Morrison, a keen birdwatcher who lived in Canberra to the last, donated his wife's multitudinous photographs of the places they had visited and lived in to the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, the Harvard-Yenching Library of Harvard University and several other Australian and international institutions.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Alastair Morrison 2004

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Alastair Morrison

Hedda Morrison (age 33 in 1941)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Alastair Morrison (1 portrait)

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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